Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Real estate firm behind first ‘gold bond’ books solid 2022

Real estate firm behind first ‘gold bond’ books solid 2022

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
GT’s VTrust Tower in Phnom Penh. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Real estate firm behind first ‘gold bond’ books solid 2022

Golden Tree Co Ltd (GT), the real estate firm behind the Kingdom’s first green bond, reported sound business performance last year, amid economic stress stemming from the Ukraine conflict and prolonged Covid-19 crisis.

On January 19, GT listed the corporate bond on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), raising 6.0721 billion riel ($1.46 million) to expand its business, in what has been hailed as a milestone in the development of the local bourse.

In its filing to the CSX on April 4, GT reported average occupancy rate at 83 per cent for 2022 – compared to the 72 per cent it gave as the industry average – and noted that its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) margin remained above 70 per cent.

The firm said it embarked on several initiatives last year, aiming to ensure a competitive edge.

GT CEO Hong Uy affirmed in the filing that the company is working to improve corporate governance and financial management to achieve sustainable growth and build trust from public investors.

“We are embarking on sustainability to do our part in fighting climate changes as well as to differentiate [ourselves] from industry peers. Green building also improves air quality and comfort for all our tenants, as [a] much-needed feature during this Covid-19 pandemic.

“The green feature has brought us a lot of domino effects. We went further [in, to] integrate our financing strategies toward sustainability. We issued our green bond [and] listed on CSX successfully on January 19, 2023.”

Also speaking in the filing, GT chairman Kuy Vat hailed 2022 as a year of transformation for the company.

He recalled that the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, awarded Cambodia’s first EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) green-building certification for commercial office projects to GT’s VTrust Tower in the capital.

The green-bond issuance came just over three months after the debt security was given in-principle approval by the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) in October, he added.

“We have done a lot in one year even though the economy in Cambodia just started improving after the pandemic. We position ourselves to take on opportunities when the strong rebound comes back.

“Nonetheless, we are aware and vigilant [of] economic risks. High inflation, high interest rate[s] and [an] influx of new … office [supply] in the next few years can [exert] tremendous pressure on the occupancy and rental rate[s] as well as interest rate[s] for financing.

“In spite of those challenges, it also creates tremendous opportunities for [those who] are ready to adapt. We have strategised our plan for new businesses and growth. We are focusing on streamlining our strategies and policies which sufficient flexibility in order to handle any future changes,” Vat said.

“We are confident that 2023 will bring us more successes.”

Meanwhile, according to CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group Inc, some 1,500 new condominium units and 200 new villas are expected to be completed soon on Phnom Penh’s most famous man-made island, Koh Pich.

The much-anticipated bridge linking Koh Pich to Koh Norea – another man-made island – is set to be finished by end-2023, the real estate firm said.

The launch of nine new commercial developments in 2022 brought the total retail space in Phnom Penh to more than 613,000sqm, it reported early this year.

The new establishments added more than 200,000sqm of retail space in the capital, marking a 179 per cent increase in area versus the seven projects totalling over 73,000sqm that were completed and put on the market in 2019, it noted.


  • Tensions high ahead of historic Kun Khmer match up

    The long-awaited November 5 matchup between Kun Khmer legend Prum Samnang and Myanmar-Canadian boxer Dave Leduc has become the most anticipated fight of the year. The Wurkz Sena Kun Khmer promotion, which will be held at the Town Arena at Chip Mong 271 Megamall, will see six

  • Manet: Cambodia safe for travel

    Prime Minister Hun Manet acknowledged that Cambodia and China have cooperated to tackle internet scamming, fraud and other cross border crimes, but insisted that the “Kingdom of Wonders” is completely peaceful and safe. He welcomed tourists to come and explore its rich heritage. During a

  • UNESCO formally list Battambang gastronomy

    Battambang, renowned for its cultural heritage, has achieved a significant milestone as the first Cambodian municipality to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The UCCN unites nearly 300 cities prioritising creativity and cultural industries in local development plans and international cooperation. On World Cities Day,

  • Cambodia pivots to solar, wind energy

    Cambodia is planning a move towards solar and wind energy to meet its rising power demands, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rottanak. On the sidelines of the Singapore International Energy Week event held recently, Rottanak emphasised the urgency of diversifying Cambodia’s

  • Angkor causeway symbol of Cambodia-Japan ties

    In a historic moment marking another milestone in the 70-year-long diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Japan, King Norodom Sihamoni celebrated the formal inauguration of a causeway located to the west of the world-renowned Angkor Wat. While presiding over the November 4 ceremony, the King emphasised the

  • Manet calls for Cambodia’s railways to get back on track

    Prime Minister Hun Manet has instructed the relevant authorities to expedite studies into upgrades to the Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk railway line. He suggested that the maximum speed on the line should be increased to 80km/h, in order to expedite the transportation of